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Hunger

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Reuters photographer Damir Sagolj visited North Korea in October and had a rare glimpse of the extent of the food crisis in rural areas.

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Summer typhoons have compounded North Korea’s hunger crisis, as shown in photos taken on a government-monitored tour and released this week.

All photographs by Damir Sagolj/Reuters.


A boy stood in a blighted corn field Sept. 29 at the Soksa-Ri collective farm in the South Hwanghae Province of North Korea.


Students and volunteers worked Oct. 1 on a water-supply system in Haeju, South Hwanghae Province. In March, the U.N. World Food Program said North Korea’s government food distribution system would run dry in May, putting a quarter of the country’s 24 million people at risk of starvation.


A woman comforted her child, who was being treated for malnutrition in a Haeju hospital Sept. 30.


Jo Tae Kun, a health worker, spoke to a visiting television crew outside a house serving as a clinic in one South Hwanghae village.


A North Korean woman prepared a meal in her house at the Soksa-Ri collective farm Sept. 29. Isolated North Korea is appealing for food aid in the wake of a hard winter and unusually destructive monsoon season.


A child suffering from malnutrition lay in a bed in a hospital in Haeju Oct. 1. The U.S. and South Korea, once the North’s two biggest donors, have said they won’t resume aid until they are satisfied the communist regime won’t divert it and that progress is being made in disarmament talks.


A North Korean boy worked the field of a collective farm in South Hwanghae Province Sept. 30.


Infants suffering from malnutrition rested in a hospital in Haeju Oct. 1.


Corn and cobs were the meal a North Korean woman prepared Sept. 30 in her tent in South Hwanghae Province; she lost her house in the summer’s flooding.


North Korean orphans were dressed up to be shown to a foreign delegation at their orphanage in North Hwanghae Province Sept. 29.


Pak Su Dong is manager of the Soksa-Ri cooperative farm in South Hwanghae Province.


A North Korean farmer pushed a bicycle through a field at a collective farm South Hwanghae Province Sept. 29.

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North Korea’s dysfunctional food-distribution system, rising global commodities prices and sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs had contributed to what appears to be a hunger crisis in the North, even before devastating summer floods and typhoons compounded the emergency. The regime’s appeals for massive food aid have gone mostly unanswered by a skeptical international community. Only 30 percent of a United Nations food aid target for North Korea has been met so far. Photographer Damir Sagolj went to bear witness.

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Tuolumne used to be gold mine and lumber country. Now, each year hundreds of thousands of tourists rush through to Yosemite National Park, oblivious to the growing number of people who have taken up residence in empty trailers and homeless camps that dot the area.

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